“Or do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” Romans 2:4 (HCSB)
The fear of God is a great motivator to repent, but His kindness is even greater! Fear forces us to our face. But kindness moves us to embrace God, and get rid of everything that hinders us. Love is stronger than fear! Another phrase that explains His kindness is tender mercies. These are not just known with our heads, but it is something we experience. Psalms says His love endures forever (Psalm 118:1). Other versions His mercies endure forever (KJV). Mercy and love are something we experience.
The depth, width, length and height of God’s love is unknowable intellectually, that is, with our mind. But He wants us to experience His love in ways our minds cannot comprehend. His love is beyond what we can imagine (Ephesians 3:16-21). Our intellect cannot grasp it. But since God is love (1John 4) He wants us to know Him, not just know about Him. He wants us to experience Him and He is expressed through His loving kindness.
There is an outbreak of healing happening right now! Look for it, and move toward it! Look for His anointing, and receive it. God wants us to be touched by His kindness. Today people are grieving and are in great need of His kindness. So many are still reeling by the loss of family and friends from the recent pandemic, and the way they weren’t even allowed to say good bye. There is a paralyzing fear regarding the world and even national events. There is significant fear of inflation, of gas and food price increases, of supply shortages, and the devaluation of the US dollar. The CDC has recently revealed that 25% of the US are experiencing depression. But Jesus wants to heal and free us from this fear, pain, trauma and sickness. And He has already paid the price through the cross and the stripes He received (Isaiah 53:4-5, 1 Peter 2:24).
Hearts are softening to the Lord and are more receptive to the Gospel because of the harshness of our day. Miracles are on the increase as God wants to display His kindness in contrast to the wickedness and pain caused by the enemy. The fear of God may get a response, but the love of God draws people close to Him! May the church rise up and be a display of God’s kindness and love in this hour!
Pray for those you know who need to experience the kindness of God. Sure, they may also need to be faced with the fear of God, the holiness of God, the righteousness of God, but cry out that they would experience His love for them! Ask the Lord to touch you with His kindness and lead you to touch others around today! Cry out for God’s kind healing touch on those who are sick or grieving lost ones. Pray that your pastor would experience a new level of the kindness of God as expressed in Ephesians 3 (the height, depth, width and length of God’s experiential love). Pray that your church would become an oasis for people to come and experience God’s kindness that leads to repentance! Pray that Athens would become a place where the kindness of God is experienced!